246 LETTERS FROM THE I might otherwise have been involved In the Barth6lemy business, and, perhaps, walking about with Carnot. I learn that all the ci-devant nobles are to be banished till after the peace. How tired my short specimen has made me of ministers!—though I like the kind of business exceedingly, and do it with pleasure and a light hand. I have got into the French style of diplo- macy so well that I can now write a whole page of which scarcely an expression is to be found in the Dictionnaire de rAcad6mie ! I have dined at different country-houses lately, and generally walked. Yesterday we had a long stretch, nearly thirteen miles, before dinner, and as much at night; but it was like walking upon velvet. I wish I were playing so. October zznd, 1797. Still in the wood, as you see, and not a line from England; consequently, nothing altered in my most disagreeable position. Time steals on. Am I then to complete my year in the service ? If so, I ought afterwards, like a pauper, to be entitled to a settlement.